Entrepreneurial Experience : 2013 McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase a Resounding Success
By Sarah Mauet
After a year of imagining and developing viable, comprehensive plans for new business ventures, the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, Class of 2013, presented their ideas at the fast-paced and exciting McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase on April 26, 2013. The public was invited to get an early look at these innovations and meet the bright, young entrepreneurs who developed them.
The McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase featured 23 new ventures developed by 90 undergraduate and graduate University of Arizona students. Innovations included biomedical devices, fitness products, agricultural technology, ecommerce websites, social apps, children’s educational products and much more. To see full descriptions of all 23 teams and new ventures, visit www.mcguireexperience.com.
Each team displayed and discussed their ideas during an interactive trade show and presented 3-minute pitches before a judging panel of entrepreneurial elite. Our judges included Harry George, co-founder of Solstice Capital and former co-founder, director and vice-president of finance for Interleaf Inc.; William Kyte, chairman of Whomp LLC and former founder and CEO of Roanoke Capital Management; Joann MacMaster, director of the Arizona Center for Innovation; Christopher McGuire, vice-president of programs and director of The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation; and Matt Williams, former CEO of Digg and former general manager of community for Amazon.com.
Five finalists were asked back to present in a second round and answer more questions from our judges. The five finalists were Grafted Growers, Howdy, MyEmagination, StudyHubs and Vive Innovations. The McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase was free and open to the public. In fact, the audience was invited to participate by helping decide the People’s Choice Award for best booth and presentation.
More than $5,000 in prizes was distributed to winning teams:
- Best in Class Award: Crowd Audio
- People’s Choice Award: Fittid Sport
- Best Use of Hearst Funds Award: Medovate Solutions
- Recipients of the 1 E. Toole Avenue HIVE Awards: Grafted Growers, Crowd Audio andFittid Sport
- Third Place Award: StudyHubs
- Second Place Award: Grafted Growers
- Grand Prize Award: Howdy
A survey of the class of 2013 showed that 90 percent of students plan to start their own business after finishing the McGuire Program and almost half plan to launch their businesses in Tucson or Arizona.The annual McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase is an exciting way to introduce the public to these future business leaders and job creators, their innovations and the McGuire Program.